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Living The Real Life

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The believer can have full assurance of genuine faith by trusting in what God has revealed to be true in the written word.

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Introduction

“God is too wise to be mistaken, God is too good to be unkind, When you don’t understand, when you can’t see His plan, When you can’t trace His hand, trust His heart.” Trust His Heart — Babbie Mason/Eddie Carswell
The believer who chooses to live by that premise is the believer who has full assurance in their salvation, full assurance that God is at work in them, full assurance that God will work all things for their good and his glory, full assurance that God can be trusted.
So at times when you don’t understand the significance of your circumstances; when you are struggling to see how anything good can come from your suffering; when there is difficulty to see through through the stress, the fears, the disappointments ...
The genuine believer chooses to have full assurance that God is worthy of trust and obedience because you know Him and you know His character is always good and right and holy so you choose to trust His heart and be at rest by living and walking in the truth .

Point of Clarification:

·Last time: There seemed to be a little confusion about this statementWe don’t find our assurance of salvation from remembering a date of the one-time act of confession and repentance, we find our assurance of salvation in a continual belief and trusting in Jesus.
What I meant by that is remembering a date doesn’t secure your salvation. Yes, there must still be repentance and confession, but the truth of Scripture is that our salvation is based upon a continual belief in the completed work of Jesus Christ alone. You don’t believe one day that salvation is by grace though faith and then the next day say your salvation is based upon something you did. There was a one-time confession and repentance of sin and belief in Jesus Christ alone and that resulted in God declaring you righteous…You continually believe that your salvation is secured in the person of Jesus Christ, and regardless of how you feel at the moment, your continual belief in that assures you of your salvationhopefully that made it a little clearer…if not please come talk to me so I can understand where you are on this

Review of John’s Tests of Faith

Genuine Fellowship with God only comes by walking in the light.
Genuine Faith results in obedience to the word especially in the area of loving others.
Genuine believers resist spiritual error by clinging to the truth.
Genuine believers cannot love God and the world at the same time.
Genuine believers allow the truth of what we will be transform the way we live today.
Genuine believers do not make a habit of practicing sin.
Genuine believers display a tangible love for one another that is easily recognizable.
Genuine believers show discernment in recognizing truth from error.
Genuine believers obey God’s commands and courageously love one another.
Genuine believers possess a love for one another that overcomes all imperfections
Turn to 1 John 5:13-21
1 John 5:13–21 NASB95
These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life. This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him. If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask and God will for him give life to those who commit sin not leading to death. There is a sin leading to death; I do not say that he should make request for this. All unrighteousness is sin, and there is a sin not leading to death. We know that no one who is born of God sins; but He who was born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him. We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one. And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life. Little children, guard yourselves from idols.

Main Point: Genuine believers live a life of full assurance because they have taken God at His word.

5 certainties of our faith that provide assurance

You know you have eternal life (13)

1 John 5:13 NASB95
These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.

God wants you to have full assurance of your faith.

C. H. Spurgeon is quoted as saying that he was so sure of his salvation that he could grab on to a cornstalk and swing out over the fires of hell, look into the face of the devil, and sing, “Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!” Green, M. P. (Ed.). (1989). Illustrations for Biblical Preaching: Over 1500 sermon illustrations arranged by topic and indexed exhaustively (Revised edition of: The expositor’s illustration file). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.
You too can have that same assurance, no matter how stormy life may get.
these things refers to what John wrote here and in his gospel
John 20:31 NASB95
but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.
notice in his gospel he wrote that people would believe…and here he writes so believers would know…know they possess eternal life
John clearly states his purpose for writing…so you would know
two primary words John uses for know and he uses them both in this text…both words are used in verse 20 (talk about that in a few moments)…in fact as you read through this letter you will find the word “know” more than 30x
oida (used 7x in this text) — to comprehend the meaning of something; to have a settled and absolute knowledge
ginosko — (used 1x in this text…2nd “know” in v.20 perceived or experiential knowledge

God wants you to have a settled knowledge that you possess eternal life.

God took the time to write it down…why?
So you and I wouldn’t miss it…so we could see it and then make a decision about it…it is absolute truth that those who have the Son have life…those who do not have the Son do not have life.
You are driving down the highway when you encounter a sign that reads, “Dangerous Curve Ahead.” Immediately you are confronted with making a choice. One, you can observe the warning and slow down. Two, you can ignore the warning and maintain your rate of speed. Or, three, you can defy the warning and speed up. Whatever response you exercise, you will not change the truth of the sign. The curve remains dangerous, regardless of whether you acknowledge the fact or not. Green, M. P. (Ed.). (1989). Illustrations for Biblical Preaching: Over 1500 sermon illustrations arranged by topic and indexed exhaustively (Revised edition of: The expositor’s illustration file). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.
That is how the Word of God is…you can believe what it says and let it change you, you can ignore it and go on living your own way; or you can defy it and suffer the consequences. The Bible is the truth whether you accept it or not.

The assurance of our salvation is not based on the ever-changing views of man or the faulty presuppositions of our culture…the assurance of our salvation is based upon the very character of God and He put it in writing, both on the Cross and in His Word.

So are you going to believe God or someone else?

God wants you to know your life is an eternal life.

You have eternal life (ζωὴν ἔχετε αἰώνιον).
In Greek, word order is important…the word eternal is added at the end…a literal translation would be “you have life, an eternal life.
The point here is that those who believe in Jesus are guaranteed a real life beyond a mere existing physically in a body…that real life exists in you now.

You know your prayers will be answered (14-17)

1 John 5:14–17 NASB95
This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him. If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask and God will for him give life to those who commit sin not leading to death. There is a sin leading to death; I do not say that he should make request for this. All unrighteousness is sin, and there is a sin not leading to death.

Pray with boldness

The word for confidence here is the Greek word parresia…it is translated throughout the NT as courage, boldness, confidence, frankness, openness...it describes speech that is clear and direct…it was used to denote the freedom of speech in the public assembly as a citizen.
As a result of your faith in Jesus Christ, you can speak openly and directly to God because you are His child and He gives you the right to be heard.

Pray According To His Will

This is the critical point of an effective prayer life.
This means that what we pray must be in accord with what would God want, not what we desire or insist he do for us.
It also means that we must be obedient to His commands and avoid sin.
1 John 3:21 NASB95
Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God;
Psalm 66:18 NASB95
If I regard wickedness in my heart, The Lord will not hear;
John 15:7 NASB95
“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
1 Peter 3:7 NASB95
You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.
It doesn’t matter how sincere you may be in your prayers, if what you ask for is not considered to be in His will, God will not answer that prayer in the way you expect.
That seems to be the point John makes in v.16-17.
1 John 5:16–17 NASB95
If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask and God will for him give life to those who commit sin not leading to death. There is a sin leading to death; I do not say that he should make request for this. All unrighteousness is sin, and there is a sin not leading to death.
John uses the example of seeing a brother committing sin and then offering up an intercessory prayer as an illustration of praying for God’s will.
Admittedly, this part of the text is problematic because it is so vague to us...John’s readers were probably familiar enough with the particular situation he referenced that he did not feel it necessary to explain it…but as I wrestled with this text here is how I have come to know it…I cannot say it dogmatically so you are free to disagree with me on this…many godly scholars differ on this…
The sin that leads to death is only known by God and is judged by Him to be intolerable and warrants death.
Throughout the Scriptures you can find examples of believers who committed sin that God could not tolerate and it brought deathNadab and Abihu, the two sons of Aaron died because they deliberately disobeyed God (Lev. 10:1-7); Korah and his clan opposed God and died (Num. 16); Achan disobeyed Joshua’s orders and was stoned (Josh. 6,7); Uzzah touched the ark and God killed him (2 Sam. 6); Ananias and Sapphria lied to God about their offering (Acts 5); believers who abused the communion table (1 Cor. 11)
God may deem a particular sin that any of us commit as one worthy of death and will not afford us the opportunity to repent…that is His call; and if we are walking in obedience we don’t have to concern ourselves with knowing the specifics of the sin.
However, a failure to repent of and forsake sin may also eventually lead to physical death as a judgment by God, and no amount of intercessory prayer will be effective for those who have committed such sin…it is not in God’s will for them to be restored.
God’s discipline with physical death is inevitable in such cases.
In 1 Cor. 5:5-7 we see how serious God is about maintaining purity in the church...
it is similar to what God told Jeremiah in 7:16
Jeremiah 7:16 NASB95
“As for you, do not pray for this people, and do not lift up cry or prayer for them, and do not intercede with Me; for I do not hear you.
The context of Jeremiah is God’s people had no intention of listening to Him and He was going to bring judgment upon them; so He instructed Jeremiah not to pray for them because God was not going to hear that prayerthe judgment was inevitable.
if you see a brother or sister committing sin, it is God’s will for you to offer up intercessory prayers that he/she would confess that sin and return to fellowship with the Father…but if you discern that individual is more intent on continual acts of disobedience over faithful obedience, then prayer for this person is neither commanded or encouraged…leave them in the hands of God and trust His discipline upon them, however difficult you may think it is…You can know that whatever discipline God brings will be exactly what is needed, even if it means certain deathtrust His heart and remember that we must cater our wills to His, not His to ours.
v 17 is an indicator that we should never take sin lightly because God doesn’t.

Pray Knowing God Answers

1 John 5:15 NASB95
And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.
He hears us…signifies that God always hears the prayer of his children (Ps. 34:14-17), but He doesn’t always answer in the way we want or in the time we expect…He will always answer in ways He deems is best and in His perfect time.
The verb here in v.15 is in the present tense…if we know he hears, we know we have...meaning we may not see the answer immediately, but we have the inner confidence that God has already answered…it may be years before you see the answer, you may not even see the answer in this life…rest in the fact that God already answered in a way that is according to His will.
Two Christian men lived near each other. The first was a farmer. Since there had not been any rain for several weeks, the farmer got up one morning and prayed for rain, but there was no rain that day.
His next-door neighbor was also up early, but he was praying that it would not rain, because he was taking an unsaved friend fishing that morning. There was no rain that day.
God hears both requests, but he can’t answer both. He will do that which glorifies him the most. Green, M. P. (Ed.). (1989). Illustrations for Biblical Preaching: Over 1500 sermon illustrations arranged by topic and indexed exhaustively (Revised edition of: The expositor’s illustration file). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.
True prayer is much more than saying words to God. It involves searching the Word, letting the Spirit search the things of God (Rom. 8:26–28), and yielding to God’s will as we share our requests with Him. There is a price to pay in this kind of praying, but it is worth it. Wiersbe, W. W. (1992). Wiersbe’s expository outlines on the New Testament (p. 778). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
The important aspect of prayer is the will of God…we are to recognize the infinite wisdom of God’s will and submit our will to his, not his to ours…in Jesus name is not a tag we put on the end of our prayers like some signature on a letter…it is an affirmation that what we are asking is that above all else, let Jesus be glorified even if it means I don’t get what I want, the way I want it or in the time frame I want...
If you struggle to know what God’s will is, communicate that struggle to Him openly, plainly, boldly and then trust His heart…God promises grace in our time of needHebrews 4:16
Hebrews 4:16 NASB95
Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

You Know You Have Victory over Sin and Satan (18)

1 John 5:18 NASB95
We know that no one who is born of God sins; but He who was born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him.

· The true child of God does not have a continual lifestyle of sin

Scripture tells us we have two natures…an old nature and a new nature
the new nature will not sin, it is a divine nature, and it has a desire to please and honor God
the old nature continues to sin, it is a fleshly nature, and it is continually corrupted
The point John is making here is that the genuine child of God does not continue in willful patterns of disobedience because it is against their new nature to continually practice sin…this is a truth that John has continued to hammer throughout his letter…the brother/sister that continues in a patter of willful disobedience is living contrary to their new nature.
Some versions give the impression that the believer keeps himself from sinning while other versions indicate it is Jesus who keeps us.
(I believe the NASB to be the most accurate…He who was born of Godbut theologically both are true.)
There is a sense in which our victory over sin requires the work of both...
We need Jesus to keep (watch over so as to preserve and protect) us and make us victorious,
Yet we also have the responsibility to abide in the truth and avoid sin.
A wife came to the conclusion that carbonated drinks were having negative physical effects on her family and herself and so decided that they should give them up. But how would she convince her three-year-old daughter, who liked them so much, that it was necessary to stop drinking them? As the wife was telling her husband of her decision, the little girl piped up to ask, “Mommy, we don’t like pop any more.” Mommy said “That’s right!”—and that was all it took.
Oh, for such a readiness to give up something when we learn that God does not want us to do it. Green, M. P. (Ed.). (1989). Illustrations for Biblical Preaching: Over 1500 sermon illustrations arranged by topic and indexed exhaustively (Revised edition of: The expositor’s illustration file). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

Satan cannot operate without God’s permission.

Touch = lay hold with intent to harm, to grasp and keep within one’s clutches
Because you belong to God, Satan must operate within God’s sovereignty and cannot function beyond what God allows.
God may allow Satan to sift you like he did the disciples…Luke 22:31-32
If God allows Satan to do anything to you, He will also give you the power to overcome him and will never permit you to be tested beyond the strength He gives you1 Cor. 10:13
1 Corinthians 10:13 NASB95
No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.
Satan may persecute, tempt, test, and accuse you, but God’s protection over you always limits Satan’s influence or power.

You Know You Belong to God (19)

1 John 5:19 NASB95
We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.
According to John, everyone falls into one of two ditches...
Children of God who belong to Him and live in His kingdom
Children of Satan who belong to the world and live in his domain
Many times I hear people say, even preachers, that we are “all God’s children”…nothing can be further from the truth…The only people who can call God their Father are those who have been adopted into His family through faith in Jesus Christ alone...
John 14:6 NASB95
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.
Galatians 4:6 NASB95
Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”
John gave his readers “birthmarks” of the child of God
Practices righteousness – 2:29
Does not practice sin – 3:9
Loves the brethren – 3:14
Loves and knows God – 4:7
Overcomes the world – 5:4

You Know Jesus is the Real Deal (20-21)

1 John 5:20–21 NASB95
And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life. Little children, guard yourselves from idols.

· God gave you the understanding to know that Jesus is the only true God.

“HAS COME” stresses the importance of Jesus being with us right now…his presence in us is very real through the indwelling ministry of the Holy Spirit…As a result the more we grow in our knowledge of Jesus the more we grow in our knowledge of God for they are one in the same.
True = genuine as opposed to what is falsebelief in anyone/anything else other than Jesus Christ is a belief in what is false…God can only be known in one way…through Jesus.
Here is where John uses both words for know… 1st is oida — settled knowledge, 2nd ginosko — it denotes a continuous and progressive knowledge...
We have a settled knowledge that Jesus is truly God (1st “know”) that equips us with the capacity to experience (2nd “know”) a vital and growing relationship with God Himself.
We are in Him = we are in vital union with God…knowing Christ means we know God…being in Christ means we are in God…to be in Christ is to be in the source of eternal life.

· God expects you to be free from idolatry

John’s readers lived in Ephesus, a city given to idol worship…temple of Diana (one of the wonders of the ancient world) was located here…Christians here were under tremendous pressure to conform and so John makes an urgent plea to protect themselves from this tragic error.
He is contrasting the true from the fake
The false teachers of John’s day withdrew from the church because they held to the world’s philosophy as superior to God’s revelation.
Their idol was their supposed higher knowledge…they followed their idol and were guilty of extreme error.
Idolatry is really tragic because it is the worship of a dead image or thing that has no eternal value…it is fake…it is a substitute for the real thing.
Psalm 115 reveals that in our minds idols look real but are useless imitations and that we become like the god we worship!
Although we do not bow to idols of wood and metal, we can still be led away by them.
Covetousness – worship of the checkbook…
Lust – worship of fleshly desires
Pride – worship of self
When things or people take God’s place in our lives, we are guilty of idolatry…we are living for what is unreal instead of what is real…John urgently pleads with us to avoid that…adhere to the fundamentals of the faith and keep yourselves from idols.

Life Lesson – Live the Real Life God Intended For You

· God took the time to reveal His heart to you through Jesus and the written Word…you can trust that all God says is worthy of your belief and obedience…God doesn’t want you to doubt any longer…
He wants you to have the settled knowledge that your life with Him is secure. He also wants you to know that you can have a sweet fellowship with Him by choosing to walk in obedience to the truth and by loving others, especially your brothers and sisters in Christ.
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